4.25.23 | Ephesians 3:14-21


*In-person at 12 Bassett St, Providence RI

Prayer Guide

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”

Where is God? What is His address? Where could you find him if you needed to? 

When I began my spiritual journey as a cultural Christian, I went to church twice a year on a good year. At that time, I thought that if God existed, he was “out there” somewhere… alongside extraterrestrial life and distant galaxies. 

Then, at age sixteen, I came to believe that God, who was larger than the universe he made, wanted to know me and for me to know him. In order for this to happen, God incarnated in a human being – Jesus of Nazareth. 

But it has taken me decades to begin to grasp the truth Paul is praying about in this passage…that by faith, Christ can and does dwell in our hearts. Christ not only wants to rescue us, but he wants to live and make his home inside our hearts. As in a marriage where one spouse begins to resemble and think and act like the other – Christ desires such intimacy with us that we begin to think like and act like him. Such that he manifests his presence and personality in the world through us, through you and me. The mystery we must discover, according to Paul in Colossians, is “Christ IN you, the hope of glory.” 

In many ways, this is the essence of maturity in Christ – realizing and discovering by faith our UNION with God. He dwells in our hearts. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, as a core spiritual practice, prayed every morning for the awareness of his union with Christ – and that this reality would mark his day and his interaction with every person he met. Here is a portion of his prayer:

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ in me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on my right,

Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down,

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

For Reflection:

  • When you think of God, where is he in your imagination? Where does he live? Does he live “out there” somewhere, distant from you?
  • Ask God to grasp by faith the truth that he dwells in your heart. 
  • Pray for the church to grow in awareness of Christ in us, the hope of glory. That this truth would become our practiced, lived experience every day.
  • Pray St. Patrick’s prayer along with him. Pray it for yourself. Pray it for the church.
  • Ask God to reveal any barrier that gets in the way of you or others in the church experiencing union with Him.